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Fighting Cartilage Loss in Osteoarthritis

  August, 27 2009 19:22
your information resource in human molecular genetics

The identification of a new potential therapeutic target against osteoarthritis is reported in Nature Medicine.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints that leads to the progressive destruction of cartilage. A molecule known as ADAMTS-5 is known to be crucial for cartilage breakdown in patients with this disease.

Frank Echtermeyer and his colleagues now report that syndecan-4, a membrane protein, is specifically found on cartilage cells both in humans and mice with osteoarthritis. Moreover, the loss of syndecan-4 protected mice from osteoarthritic damage. The scientists found that syndecan-4 inhibition significantly decrease the activity of ADAMTS-5, thereby disclosing a previously unknown mechanism for the action of the ADAMTS-5 molecule.

These data indicate that strategies aimed at the inhibition of syndecan-4 could be of great value for the treatment of cartilage damage in osteoarthritis.

Authors contacts:

Frank Echtermeyer (Medical University Hannover, Germany)
E-mail: echtermeyer.frank@mh-hannover.de

Thomas Pap (University Hospital Munster, Germany)
E-mail: thomas.pap@uni-muenster.de

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Medicine.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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